MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An American Indian community is reaching out to help support education.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) donated $755,500 to education programs locally and throughout the country.

The community recently gave $585,000 to the American Indian College Fund for scholarships for native American students to go to college.

“The American Indian College Fund has helped thousands of young Indian people get an education. We are happy to be able to encourage our Indian students to continue their education so that they can help their people. Having an educated and qualified Indian workforce for the future is very important for all tribes in maintaining their sovereignty,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.

The SMSC gave the remaining money to various Indian schools and charities which provides things like winter coats, food, clothes, tutoring, cultural activities and scholarships to students.

The SMSC said they use the money from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the Tribe.

Over the past 16 years, they have donated more than $229.5 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, schools, and Native American organizations.

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